For readers of the Qur'an
The Unique Signs
Of the Son of Mary
He who reads the Qur'an carefully, will find that Allah gave the Son of Mary "the clear signs" (al-Bayyinaat) to prove his divine ministry, which he carried out by the power of the Holy Spirit. We will meditate over some of the five verses in which these striking proofs appear:
"We gave to Moses the book, and after him sent succeeding messengers; and we gave 'Isa, Son of Mary, the clear signs and strengthened him with the Spirit of the Holy" (Sura al-Baqara 2:87).
Muhammad heard about the service of Jesus and believed that he did not only teach, warn and prophesy, but that he did many outstanding miracles. His words carried the power of Allah. The Son of Mary did not only bring a new law, but also healed the sick, gave life to the dead and made evildoers good. Christ received his Gospel from Allah by direct revelation with significant clear signs as proof of his divine call. Allah raised him to the highest rank among all the prophets:
"Those messengers, some we have preferred above others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others he raised in rank; and we gave Jesus, Son of Mary, the clear signs and confirmed him with the Spirit of the Holy" (Sura Al-Baqara 2:253).
We read about Moses in the Torah, that the Lord spoke to him, face to face (Exodus 33:11). Muhammad heard this exciting news and considered it as setting Moses above other prophets. He investigated the matter and heard that Allah gave Moses nine divine signs, of which two are mentioned in detail, in the Qur'an (Suras al-Isra' 17:101; al-Naml 27:12). These woes Moses inflicted on the Egyptians were part of the ten plagues from Allah mentioned in the Torah, which Moses brought on Pharaoh and his people to release the enslaved Hebrews (Exodus 7:1-12:51).
Yet, the Son of Mary was entrusted from his Lord with power for an an unlimited number of gracious miracles by which he healed many sick, comforted the hopeless, delivered those who were going astray and raised the dead. Christ did not inflict punishment or woes upon his disobedient nation, but came to them in compassion as the Good Shepherd, as a healing physician and a merciful helper. This is why the Qur'an calls him the greatest messenger till then.
(The word "clear signs" (al-Bayyinaat) to Christ appears in Suras al-Baqara 2:87,253; al-Ma'ida 5:110; al-Zukhruf 43:63; al-Saff 61:6).
The Qur'an testifies twice that the Son of Mary opened the eyes of the blind without an operation, giving them perfect sight by his creating and healing word. Christ himself made clear in Sura Al ‘Imran, that "I heal the blind" (Sura Al 'Imran 3:49). By this testimony, he stated that he did not open the eyes of one blind person only, but of many, again and again. In Sura al-Ma'ida, we read about the Son of Mary, that Allah testified to him, after his ascension to heaven, "You have healed the blind" (Sura al-Ma’ida 5:110). By this conclusive declaration, Allah confirmed that the healing of the many blind by Christ during his time on earth actually took place. These two testimonies raise Christ's healings of the blind above all dispute.
Whereas the Qur'an does not describe the full details of Christ's different healings, we add from the Gospel testimonies of eye-witnesses, which show Christ's mercy for the blind in action. In the Gospel, we read 15 times how the Son of Mary opened the eyes of the blind: Matthew 9:27-31; 11:4-6; 12:22-23; 15:30-31; 20:29-34; 21:14; Mark 8:22-26; 10:46-52; Luke 4:16-21; 7:21-23; 14:12-14; 18:35-43; John 9:1-41; 10:20-21; 11:37 among others.
· And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Him, and asked Him to touch him. And taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes, and laying His hands upon him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about." Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. (Mark 8:22-25)
· And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, and saying, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" And after He had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "Be it done to you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, "See here, let no one know about this!" (Matthew 9:27-30)
· Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man who was blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed, and began to say, "Is this man not the Son of David?" (Matthew 12:22-23)
· And departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up to the mountain, He was sitting there. And great multitudes came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, dumb, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them, so that the multitude marveled as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified God (Matthew 15:29-31).
· And they came to Jericho. And as He was going out from Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the road. And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage, arise! He is calling for you." And casting aside his cloak, he jumped up, and came to Jesus. And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!" And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road (Mark 10:46-52).
· And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them (Matthew 21:14).
· And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:16-21).
Again, the Qur'an twice confirms the healing of the lepers at the hands of Jesus; first as a testimony of Jesus in the present tense (Sura Al 'Imran 3:49) and second as a confirmation of Allah himself in the past tense (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:110). Both verses complete each other and confirm the fact that Jesus did not fear the infection of leprosy, but overcame it. In some countries, leprosy is considered as a punishment of Allah for hidden sins, so the healing of the lepers may also be considered as the justifying of these sinners and the forgiveness of their offenses.
In the Gospel, we read more than 8 times about Jesus' healings of the lepers:
Matthew 8:2-3; 10:8; 11:4-6; Mark 1:40-44; Luke 5:12-16; 7:22-23; 17:12-19 among others. The reports of the Greek physician Luke are most important for he, as a physician had ascertained the efficacy of these healings by the Son of Mary.
· And a leper came to Him, asking Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." And moved with compassion, He stretched out His hand, and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." And immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed (Mark 1:40-42).
· And He answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me" (Luke 7:22-23).
· And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" And when He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine– where are they? Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" And He said to him, "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well" (Luke 17:12-19).
Jesus' mercy on lepers was the driving force behind the miracles of his authority. The marred creation began to revive and the bondage of sin to disappear when the Son of Mary approached in his holiness and love. Jesus was the greatest physician and saving Redeemer of all time.
It is astonishing to see that the Qur'an testifies twice the fact that the Son of Mary gave life to the dead merely by his word. He who ponders these reports finds some important principles:
· In Sura Al 'Imran 3:49, Christ explains his miracles in the present tense from the midst of the experience of life freeing the dead out of the soil.
· In Sura al-Ma'ida 5:110, Allah confirms to the Son of Mary, in the past tense, after raising him into his presence, that he really had raised the dead, alive, out from their graves. These two testimonies prove the reality of raising the dead by Christ and confirm it as by law.
· Jesus said, in his Qur'anic testimony, that he gave life to such as were really dead. His words held the life-giving power of Allah and from his heart comes the spirit of life.
· Christ released those who were imprisoned in the grave, for he has overcome the power of death and broken its authority. The Son of Mary snatched dead bodies from the jaws of death and returned them alive as they were before. The grave is never the end of life to Christ and his followers, for Jesus is the Life-giving Spirit of Allah; whoever believes in him shall live with him forever.
· These two testimonies about the number of people resurrected appear not in the singular nor in the dual, but in the plural form. This indicates that Christ, according to the Qur'an, raised, at least, three or more people from the dead. These reports confirm that raising the dead was neither an accident, nor self-display based on apparent death, but a striking fact that occurred several times.
· These two verses in the Qur'an testify further that Christ did not execute these miracles alone, by himself or by his own power, but with permission of Allah and with support of his Spirit. Sura Al 'Imran 5:110 clarifies that the Almighty strengthened the Son of Mary with the Spirit of the Holy One, so he could perform his astounding miracles. This testimony proves that Allah, his Spirit, and Christ together performed all these miracles; thus, these three appear as an indivisible unity of action.
In line with this, Christ says in the Gospel, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner" (John 5:19).
We read seven times in the Gospel about the raising of the dead during Jesus' ministries on earth: Matthew 9:18-26; 10:8; 11:5-6; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 7:11-17 and 22-23; 8:40-56; John 11:1-45. Of these testimonies of eye-witnesses, we attach great importance to the reports of Luke, the Greek physician, who examined carefully the evidence of the dead being raised by Christ. He testified that it was true.
According to the Gospel
· When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered about Him; and He stayed by the seashore. And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, that she may get well and live." And He went off with him; and a great multitude was following Him and pressing in on Him. . . . . While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe." And He allowed no one to follow with Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. And they came to the house of the synagogue official; and He beheld a disturbance, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, "Why make a disturbance and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." And they began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. And taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"). And immediately the girl rose and began to walk; for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this; and He said that something should be given her to eat (Mark 5:21-43).
· And it came about soon afterwards, that He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large multitude. Now as He approached the gate of the city, behold, a dead young man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep." And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise!" And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. (Luke 7:11-15).
· When Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about three kilometers off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary still sat in the house. Martha therefore said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." Jesus said to her, "Your brother shall rise again." Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her,
"I am the Resurrection and the Life;
he who believes in Me shall live
even if he dies,
and everyone who lives
and believes in Me shall never die.
Do you believe this?" . . . .
When Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, and said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, "Behold how He loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have kept this man also from dying?" Jesus therefore again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me." And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and saw what He had done, believed in Him (John 11:17-26, 32-45).
Who is able to raise the dead? The usual answer to this question is that nobody is able to raise the dead but God. This convincing answer shows us the lofty place, which God accorded to the Son of Mary.
He who wants to understand the signs of Christ in the Qur'an should also probe into the hidden background and realities of his healings and raising of the dead.
Christ called Satan the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; see also 2 Corinthians 4:4). The spiritual Son of Allah came to destroy the works of the devil and to cast out the ruler of this world (1 John 3:8).
After his baptism in the River Jordan, the Holy Spirit led Christ immediately into the desert to meet the enemy of Allah. The One who was born of the spirit of Allah at once recognized the voice of the tempter as distinct from the voice of his spiritual Father. He did not fall into the temptation, but commanded the devil sternly to repent and worship Allah alone; but the evil one left him in rage.
· The devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, "All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'" Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him (Matthew 4:8-11).
The Son of Mary did not serve and help himself, nor did he glorify his own power. He did not desire to become rich and famous. Jesus laid aside his own honor, chose the way of humility and offered his life a ransom for many.
After his temptation and his triumph over the devil, the Son of Mary healed all such sick as came to him and freed the possessed from their demons. Christ forbade the devils to reveal his source and drove them out at once by the power of the Spirit of God. More than 50 times in the Gospel we read about the coming of the spiritual kingdom of God into the realm of the devil:
· And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. And just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, "What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!" And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" And throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice, and came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him" (Mark 1:21-27).
· And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan (Matthew 4:23-25).
· It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. . . . . And He descended with His disciples, and stood on a level place; and there was a great multitude of them, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured. And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all (Luke 6:12, 17-19).
· And they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He had come out onto the land, He was met by a certain man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. And seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me." For He had been commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard; and yet he would burst his fetters and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. And they were entreating Him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons entreated Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out from the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned. And when the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. And the people went out to see what had happened; and they came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting down at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they became frightened. And those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well. And all the people of the country of the Gerasenes and the surrounding district asked Him to depart from them; for they were gripped with great fear; and He got into a boat, and returned. But the man from whom the demons had gone out was begging Him that he might accompany Him; but He sent him away, saying, "Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you." And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him (Luke 8:26-39).
· Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man who was blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed, and began to say, "Is this man not the Son of David (Matthew 12:22-23).
· And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." And turning to the disciples, He said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them" (Luke 10:17-24).
· And He answered them and said, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!" And they brought the boy to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling about and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" And Jesus said to him, "'If You can!' All things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the boy's father cried out and began saying, "I do believe; help my unbelief." And when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again." And after crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead!" But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up (Mark 9:19-27).
· At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He granted sight to many who were blind (Luke 7:21).
Each of these deliverances indicates a special triumph for Allah, his Christ and his Spirit over the powers of darkness and corruption. These signs bring to light, the holiness, highness and power of the spiritual Son of God. The enemies of Christ were united at the same time, led by their evil spirits. They decided to kill him out of spite because of his great spiritual power.
The Qur'an tells us three times that Allah gave the Son of Mary the authority to alter the patterns of nature and to change its sources.
In the Qur'an, we read a testimony of Christ:
"I will create for you out of clay the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, with the permission of Allah" (Sura Al 'Imran 3:49).
Afterwards, the Almighty in the Qur'an confirmed to Christ, in the past tense, after raising him to heaven, that he had actually created the form of a bird out of clay and breathed into it. Then it became a real live bird, with his permission (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:110).
In these two verses, the Qur'an highlights the fact that in the Son of Mary dwells a unique creating power: As a young lad, he formed a bird out of clay. For this act, the Qur'an uses a verb in two tenses: "I create" and "You created". This specific word is normally attributed only to Allah, who created everything out of nothing. However, the Qur'an ascribes this unique word also to Christ. This Qur'anic testimony confirms that Christ was a creator indeed, with the permission of Allah.
Having formed a bird out of clay, the young 'Isa blew into it, then the dead substance became alive and the bird flew away. By this clarification, the Qur'an shows that Christ carries in himself a life-giving breath; he blew into the dead matter and gave it life. The Son of Mary is the Spirit of Allah in bodily form; so he is able to animate dead substances. He is not only the best physician who can cure all diseases, raise the dead and drive out demons, but is also the Creator and Giver of life, with Allah's permission, of course!
The evangelist John testifies that Christ is the incarnate word of God, through whom the Almighty made the cosmos:
· All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:3-4).
Allah created the universe by his word. The Gospel confirms Christ's ability to create life in lifeless matter (John 20:22).
The Qur'anic report that Christ has created a bird out of clay is not found in the Gospel. This story was confirmed neither by Virgin Mary, Christ's mother, nor by Luke, the Greek physician and historian, nor by other eye-witnesses. None of them saw or heard about this event. This legend appeared two hundred years after Christ in Syrian apocryphal stories, which were generously ascribed to Christ by those who loved him. Yet, the fathers of the church did not include this story in the texts of the Gospel because it never took place. However, some Syrian slaves in Mecca told Muhammad about their faith and he accepted this childish story as a real revelation of Allah.
The Table From Heaven
The other story that Muhammad testified of is the Qur'anic echo of the feeding of 5000 of Christ's listeners in the desert (John 6:1-15). In the Qur'an, we read the following verses:
· When the disciples said, "O 'Isa Son of Mary! Will your Lord consent to send down to us food from heaven?" He said, "Be careful of (your duty to) Allah if you are believers." They said, "We desire that we should eat of it and that our hearts should be at rest, and that we may know that you have indeed spoken the truth to us and that we may be of the witnesses to it." 'Isa the Son of Mary said, "O Allah, our Lord! Send down to us food from heaven which should be to us an everrecurring happiness, to the first of us and to the last of us, and a sign from Thee, and grant us means of subsistence, and Thou art the best of the providers." Allah said, "Surely I will send it down to you, but whoever shall disbelieve afterwards from among you, surely I will chastise him with a chastisement with which I will not chastise anyone among the nations" (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:112-115) .
In the Qur'an, we read that after the Son of Mary had delivered a long sermon, his disciples became hungry, and doubted that their Lord could prepare them bread in the desert. They did not fully believe in him without reserve, but tempted him. Yet, Christ encouraged them to fear Allah, and believe in him, without proofs. But they continued to doubt and intensified their temptation. They insisted on receiving a table from heaven as a proof to his ministry and authority. The Son of Mary did not reject this challenge, but prayed to "Allahumma" and asked him to bring down a table full of divine foods from heaven as a feast for everybody and as a sign and guarantee that Allah will in the future regularly provide them with all necessary food and raiment.
The Almighty immediately answered Christ's prayer according to the Qur'an and instantly sent down a table from heaven. Yet, he threatened to punish every unbelieving skeptic among his disciples with the most dreaded of all his punishments, if they afterwards would not believe in him and in his Christ. This threat is still valid today for any who read the Qur'an.
The important truth in this story is the evidence that Christ has the right of intercession and that he is the worthy mediator between Allah and his disciples. The One who was born of the Spirit did not only overcome diseases, distresses and death, but could also bring down the fullness of blessing from heaven. Allah responded to his prayer before he had ended it, which indicates that the Son of Mary has a direct line to God who answered his prayer immediately.
The feeding of a great multitude in the desert actually took place twice. First when five-thousand listeners met, and second when four thousand people came to the desert to hear the words of Jesus. He was moved with compassion for them, after their long stay with him, and so provided food for them in a miraculous way, as we read in the Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10.
· After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). And a great multitude was following Him, because they were seeing the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little." One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost." And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten. When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, "This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world." Jesus therefore perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone (John 6:1-15).
Did you recognize the mystery of the silent increase of bread and fish? Christ thanked his heavenly Father for the "little" he had in his hands and believed in the power of the Almighty. Then the blessing rising from faith in Christ's prayer increased the "little", he had in his hands, into a massive amount of food. The fragments that remained after they had eaten were more than what was at hand in the beginning. So, give thanks for the "little" the Lord has provided, then you will see that he will multiply it for many of your friends.
Whoever examines the biography of the Son of Mary finds that he possessed the divine authority over natural elements:
· When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. And it had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. And the sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When therefore they had rowed about three or four miles, they beheld Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." They were willing therefore to receive Him into the boat; and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going (John 6:16-21).
· On that day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (Mark 4:35-41)
Jesus was the spirit of Allah in human form. He had authority over spirits and diseases and even over earthly elements and objects. The laws of the universe obeyed him. He is the Creator and the Omniscient One, with the permission of Allah, because he has created everything with his powerful word.
In the Qur'an, we read a strange story, according to which Christ was able to see through walls and so can declare to people their secrets. In Sura Al 'Imran, Christ testifies:
"I will inform you of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers" (Sura Al 'Imran 3:49).
Muhammad noticed increasing tension between the Muslim refugees (about one hundred) who had come with him from Mecca on one hand, and the inhabitants of Medina (Muslims and wealthy Jews) on the other. He recognized that the immigrants from Mecca were hungry and in need, for they had no income, while the original inhabitants of Medina secretly ate plentiful meals in their homes. Muhammad knew that some of the local inhabitants were rich and that they hid their treasures in secure cases, not sharing them with their needy brothers. Muhammad became angry and rebuked them revealing that when 'Isa comes back again from heaven he will "inform you of what things you eat privately, and what you treasure up in your houses".
The Qur'an confesses, that Christ can look right through walls. He possesses penetrating eyes which can reveal the secrets of man, more than X-rays can show. The Son of Mary knows all your sins and evil works, and none can hide himself from his probing sight.
The Gospel confirms this fascinating ability of Christ:
· Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man (John 2:23-25).
The Son of Mary was a real man and the genuine spirit of God. Nothing was hid from him, and none could deceive him, as the Gospel reports:
· When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Arise, and take up your pallet and walk'? But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"– He said to the paralytic– "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this" (Mark 2:1-12).
Jesus recognized the faith of the men who carried the paralytic as well as the faith of the lame man. Their trust so moved his heart that he decided to heal the poor one. However, Christ recognized the specific sin in this man as the reason for his illness. The spirit of Allah in the Son of Mary forgave him his sins first, so that he could be healed afterwards. Christ comforted the paralytic with his magisterial word: "My son, your sins are forgiven you!"
The scholars and theologians were upset and furious when they heard that Christ claimed to forgive sin. But Christ could read the thoughts of these critics around him and revealed to them the spite in their hearts and confirmed his authority for forgiving sins by miraculously healing the paralytic.
The Son of Mary called himself "The Son of Man" in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14. This memorable prophecy reveals that the Almighty gave the Son of Man, dominion, glory and kingdom. The kingdom of his love and the gentleness of his humility would be everlasting. His kingdom is "spiritual" – without taxes, weapons, wars or plunder. Whoever allows Christ to forgive him his sins and change his nature into his gentleness and purity, will be welcomed into this spiritual kingdom.
Muhammad carefully watched the Christians around him. He discovered that they appeared with changed characters at various stages of their maturity. He concluded that Christ was able to change and purify them, step-by-step, as the Son of Mary reforms his disciples into his own image. These fundamental changes in the character of his followers attest the greatest miracles of Christ. The Qur'an states:
· "I will place those who followed you above the unbelievers until the resurrection day" (Sura Al 'Imran 3:55).
· "You will find that those who have the greatest sympathy with the believers are those who say, 'We are Christians'; because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud" (Sura Al-Ma'ida 5:82).
· "And we sent, following, 'Isa, Son of Mary, and gave unto him the Gospel. And we put into the hearts of those who followed him tenderness and mercy" (Sura Al-Hadid 57:27).
He who meditates on these Qur'anic verses finds, as Muhammad observed, that Christ grants his followers admirable virtues:
Ø They had real sympathy for the Muslims. They honored and respected them.
Ø They tried to live humbly, for they had priests and monks among them who taught them the Gospel, so they followed the humility of Christ.
Ø They showed loving-kindness and mercy, even to their enemies, for Allah granted them a special gift from the Gospel. They confirmed, with their lives, what the apostle Paul had written: "The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5).
Allah raised the Christians above others in rank, not because they were better in their nature, but because they confessed their sins before Allah, accepted the atonement of Christ and were changed into the image of the Son of Mary. The power of his love surpasses what is known by those who are far away from Christ.
The Son of Mary makes:
The impure – holy
The cruel – merciful
Faithful followers of Christ are his outstanding miracle. He justifies them from their guilt and calls them to follow him so that his love may renew their hearts. This privilege is granted only to those who accept him (Matthew 11:28-30).
(The Sign of Allah)
The one who studies the afore-mentioned Qur'anic verses, about the followers of Christ, together with verses from the Holy Bible, can recognize that the greatest of all signs is Christ himself. He was a real man and the Spirit of Allah at one time. He was the reason for, and the summary of, all his miracles. He, himself, is the sign of Allah for all men and for all his angels. He is not dead, but is alive with Allah.
"And we will appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from us" (Sura Maryam 19:21).
"And we appointed her and her Son to be a sign to all worlds" (Sura al-Anbiya' 21:91).
"And we made Mary's Son, and his mother, to be a sign" (Sura al-Mu'minun 23:50).
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